If you’re searching for “a good dentist near me,” then you’re either like the 42 percent who’ve not been to the dentist in a while (ever?) or you’re needing to leave your current provider. Maybe you’re moving or you just aren’t satisfied with the level of service they’ve given you.
In the following article, we’ll be providing 10 criteria that can help you find the best dentist for your needs. Let’s begin!
1. Seek Referrals From Family and Friends
One great place to start if you want to find a good dentist is with family and friends. You already respect their opinions so why not, right?
Family and friends often share our values, interests, hobbies, and preferences. That makes them a trustworthy source of information.
This is particularly true if they’re thrilled with the service they’re getting from their dentist. To ensure it’s the right fit, however, you might consider asking more pointed questions. For example, has the family member or friend ever used their dentist for the exact issue that you’re going for?
2. Speak to Your Doctor or Pharmacist
Another way to find a good dentist that will meet your specific need is to speak directly to your doctor or pharmacist. These professions all share a common asset in how they do business. Namely, you.
Doctors and pharmacists know what your specific needs are. They also know the reputations of many of the dentists in your area and probably even use one of them for their own needs. A doctor or pharmacist can be very helpful in helping you narrow the field.
3. Do a Reputation Check
The best dentist will get people talking just like the worst. Look up the one you’re considering online to see if there are any reviews. See if you can get a good sense of what one’s overall experience is.
You might use social media to find connections between the dentist and some of your friends on there. If no close family members or friends go to the dentist, then don’t hesitate to reach out to your social network connections to ask what their experience has been like with a certain dentist.
4. Read Good Reviews and Bad
A single good dentist review may not be enough for you to make a final decision. That’s okay. Check out some of the others as well!
It’s worth noting here that a bad review doesn’t make for a bad dentist just as a good one isn’t immediate verification that you’ve found “the one.” Read both good and bad reviews to see the specifics of what people are saying.
Furthermore, see how the dental office responds to complaints. There are two sides to every story, and a dentist’s professionalism, or lack thereof, can go a long way in showing you who’s right and who’s not.
5. Consider Location
What you’ll likely find as you start your search is that there is an abundance of great dentists out there to choose from. If you can’t decide between two, three, or more, then consider other advantages like location.
A dentist who is located in a convenient location that is easy to get into and out of can be the perfect solution. Or, you might consider a dentist who is located close to your workplace. When it’s too tough of a decision otherwise, convenience is a helpful metric.
6. Look to Experience and Training
Any search for a “good dentist near me” should be tempered with their actual abilities and knowledge. Visit the dentist’s page. See where they received their training and how much experience they have.
A dentist who attended a great school and received formal credentials is great, but what is he or she doing to continue that education? Are they staying up-to-date on cutting-edge technologies and procedures?
7. Find Out Which Payment Forms and Insurances They Accept
Affordability is an important issue, especially during uncertain economic times. Many people struggle to keep emergency funds intact or don’t have them at all. Is your trip to the dentist’s office going to create more struggles?
Talk to your local dentist before proceeding. Ask about things like types of insurance they take, whether they offer payment plans, and if deeper discounts are available if paying out-of-pocket.
8. Consider Anesthetics
On occasion, you may need a procedure that requires an anesthetic. Generally, anesthetics are safe, but they require skills and training to properly administer. Furthermore, some anesthetics are riskier than others.
Before deciding on a dentist, talk to dentists about the anesthesia they are certified to give, what options you have for staying conscious during a procedure, and what the best options are for your health history.
9. Confirm Cancellation Policies
While not as crucial as some of the others on this list, do make a point of confirming the dentist’s procedures for cancellations or postponements. Some dentists will charge if cancellations are made within 24 hours of the appointment while others have more flexible policies.
Schedules change. Things come up. You want to work with a dentist who is willing to work with you. Knowing those policies on the front end can keep you from taking a misstep in your search.
10. Judge Those First Impressions
Maybe it goes without saying that you should visit your final candidate’s offices before committing to a permanent stay, but we feel it’s worth a mention. People use the internet to make many decisions these days, but a first impression by physically visiting the location is always going to leave you with more peace of mind.
Pay close attention to two areas, in particular. Cleanliness and friendliness. One walk through the waiting room should tell you how well the facility is kept. Beyond that, do receptionists and hygienists treat you like they want your business, or do they keep their heads down and try not to make eye contact?
Consider All Factors When Searching A Good Dentist Near Me
Searching for a “good dentist near me” will inevitably present you with a number of options. Not all are created equally, so it’s important to have some criteria in place that are important to you in your search.
Use the 10 factors presented above to guide you, and you’ll reach a decision that you can smile about. For more healthcare-related tips and information, check out some of our additional posts!